an additional/a further two months

Thomas1

Senior Member
polszczyzna warszawska
I am wondering very much how to explain the following phenomenon and have come up with nothing.
Hi,

Having read the responses by native speakers I would like to make sure and ask is the indefinite article necessary in:
He had to wait a further two months before he got his promotion.
It doesn't make much sense to my mind, because further is an adjective here modifying months which is plural. So, what's its purpose please?

Thank you,
Tom
Sorry, Tom, I don't know why, but I assure you that it is "a further", just as it would be "an additional two months".
:eek::eek::eek: This is something very surprising to me. I actually replaced "further" with "additional" sentence and this is how I came to the conclusion that no indefinite article should be used.

A quick Google search reveals:
This control has additional two methods to check/uncheck all items.
http://www.polishwords.com.pl/downloads.php?cat_id=3&details_id=16

Awilco Offshore ASA secures additional two years work for the accommodation unit Port Rigmar at the Ekofisk Field
http://www.awo.no/default.asp?V_ITEM_ID=234

Additional two days for postal voting.
http://www.google.pl/search?hl=pl&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:pl:eek:fficial&hs=Nd1&as_qdr=all&q=%22additional+two%22+-an&start=10&sa=N

Nevertheless, there are plenty examples of "an additional ...", which is pretty confusing to me.:confused: Thank you for your response, anyway, Aztlaniano. :thumbsup: I think I need to go and research this. :)

I am editing my post to make the correction of it then:
I think it would be better to take out the indefinite article:
He had to wait a further two months before he got his promotion.
The union official applied for all his annual leave in one go to allow himself an additional two weeks off work to spend with partner Anne Alexander, 30, and Sam.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4096956.stm

Can someone explain the use of the indefinite article in the given samples?

Input very much appreciated.

Tom

 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Certainly in my BE experience the expression is a further two months, a further twenty years, etc.. To drop the article would sound very wrong.

    I admit to never having given it a second's thought until now. Could it be that it's a contraction of 'a time of a further two months'? That seems a little far-fetched.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Hello Thomas,

    I hope you had a happy Christmas. :)

    Could it be that it's a contraction of 'a time of a further two months'? That seems a little far-fetched.
    It still is a mistery for me why there is the indefinite article before further. Can you explain it in your example?

    An idea that sprang up to my mind is that perhaps it's a contraction of:
    a further two months' period? Come to think of it it looks like your example: a period of further two months, just that I haven't included the indefinite article.


    Tom
     
    Hi,

    I've never thought about it before, but I think the reason for the indefinite article is the fact that the word "additional" refers to a certain quantity of time as a whole. "Two weeks" in your example is taken as a unit of time as a whole. This is generally used with such words as "additional," "further," etc.

    I might be wrong, though.
     
    Hello Thomas,

    An idea that sprang up to my mind is that perhaps it's a contraction of:
    a further two months' period? Come to think of it it looks like your example: a period of further two months, just that I haven't included the indefinite article.
    Actually, this came across my mind, too. But I dismissed the idea because of the apostrophe. "A further two weeks' time" minus the "time" would then go: a further two weeks' (with the apostrophe).

    Either way, you've brought up an interesting topic. I like it :)
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Actually, this came across my mind, too. But I dismissed the idea because of the apostrophe. "A further two weeks' time" minus the "time" would then go: a further two weeks' (with the apostrophe).[...]
    It did occur to me too, Michaaal.
    The reason I tried it is because sometimes when expressions form some of their original parts are dropped. It also happens to the apostrophe. I'll add an example, if I remember one.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think those are right who've suggested that "a further two weeks" is an elided version of "a [period of a] further two weeks".

    I did wonder whether what we had here was something akin to "a miserable Loob is always bad news on the forums" = "Loob, when miserable, is always bad news on the forums".

    But I think the elision option is more likely.
     

    MikeLynn

    Senior Member
    Strangely, the same thing seems to occur with currencies and distances. It's an amount of money you have to pay, a distance you have to walk and, all of a sudden the number of "units" gets "irrelevant" and there's got to be an "A"; let alone the funny part that you have to singularize everethinhg-Two weeks is not enough. Ten thousand dollars is what I need. and so on. We do seem to be talking amounts of time, money and not the "units" used to say "how much"
     

    MikeLynn

    Senior Member
    And I believe that the same, or very similar, concept can be found in other languages. Unfortunately, although most of these things are grammatically treated the same way, it's just most of them, not all of them :(
     
    You made a good point, MikeLynn.

    I thought about it more and realized several interesting consequences. Look at this:
    • He had to wait additional weeks. (He had to wait some more time.)
    • He had to wait two additional weeks. (He had to wait some more time, and it happened to be two weeks. "Additional" is an adjective modifying "weeks" here.)
    • He had to wait an additional two weeks. (He had to wait two more weeks. "Additional" is not modifying "weeks" here. It's modifying "a two weeks' time," which is simply referred to as "two weeks" here, because a two week's time = two weeks.) I think I got back to Tom's conclusion, in a way. :D
     
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